Tom Miller admits Lincoln City's back four is missing Mo Fofana and Gary Mills
Tom Miller admits he is missing the presence of Mo Fofana and Gary Mills as he bemoaned the cheap goals which are wrecking Lincoln City's season.
The Imps slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Forest Green at the weekend as they slipped further down the table to leave them three points clear of the relegation zone.
Lincoln have now failed to keep a clean sheet since November when they beat Braintree 3-0 who ironically are Lincoln's opponents this weekend.
But they travel south without the injured Mo Fofana, who has not kicked a ball for City since the FA Cup defeat to Mansfield, while Mills is out with knee ligament damage.
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Asked whether Lincoln were missing their naturally defensive mentality, Miller said the pair's absence had been a major blow.
"The defence was so used to having them in front of us, especially when we went on that great unbeaten run before Christmas," he said.
"They were our insurance policy and they made our decisions for us.
"Before we had even made a decision to go tight to a player, Gary and Mo had already done that job for us.
"They screened the defence and we could get away with sitting a little bit deeper.
"They tightened it up for us, but now they are out the transition for us to get tight and do what they were doing is taking us too long.
"Obviously Gary is going to be out for a long time, but Mo has trained a couple of times with us.
"It will be nice to have him back because he gives you added security.
"When strikers dropped deep he would already be there and he countlessly would nick the ball for us in midfield.
"He's naturally defensively minded and he will be a big boost for us when he comes back."
Miller admits City's lack of clean sheets is having an impact on his and the squad's confidence.
City boss David Holdsworth admitted the defensive performances have not been good enough and said injuries could not be used as an excuse.
But Miller says the problems he is experiencing will only make him stronger.
"I would say it's affected confidence a little bit," he said.
"I've certainly felt more confident than I do now and I did not think I had a good game at Southport.
"I just need to get my distribution back and get back to where I know I can be.
"But as footballers, everyone has dips.
"I just need to work my way through it because I know that once I do, I will be much stronger for it.
"You have to remember we are a very young team and we will make mistakes, but we will look to put that right against Braintree this weekend."
Since beating Braintree in November, the two clubs have passed each other in the table.
But, Miller says, Lincoln are better than their results currently suggest.
"That's the most frustrating aspect of it all; we know we are much better than we currently are," he said.
"If you look at our performances pre-Christmas some of our displays were outstanding.
"We are going through a tough patch, but we will bounce back, I'm sure of it."